But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him. ~Esther 1:12
Queen Elizabeth is the recognized, reigning queen of England. Even though England’s government is overseen by the Parliament and prime minister, the king and queen are symbols of the country’s historic monarchy. A queen presents the image of class, dignity, grace, poise, and beauty. Vashti was the reigning queen of Persia. Her name means “beauty.” Certainly, she must have been a very beautiful woman, as our passage indicates. However, unlike her predecessors, she was a beautiful queen who would not allow her looks to be taken advantage of or exploited.
We see royalty.
Vashti was the queen of Persia. She was Xerxes' wife and was held in high esteem for her beauty, charm, finesse, and elegance that she brought to the women of her country. The priority of royalty is to represent the leadership, direction, morals, and morale of the people. The privilege in royalty is its wealth, opportunities, and connections. We are kings and priests in our Lord Jesus Christ. In eternity, we shall reign with Him. We must use our privileges for the purpose of advancing His work on Earth.
We see refusal.
Xerxes showed off to his princes the riches of the kingdom. On the seventh day, while in a drunken state, he wanted to put his wife on exhibit to show off her beauty. He was a very vain and selfishly impulsive man. Vashti was a woman of dignity and refinement. She boldly told the king and his men that she would not come out to be showcased before the people and princes. Vashti took a courageous stand for feminine modesty. Modesty is the humble demonstration of decency and virtue about one’s outer and inner appearance. She refused to be displayed as cheap and unchaste. Christian modesty is being cognizant that however God has blessed us is for His glory and not for self-glory.
We see removal.
Saying "no" to the king and his men brought embarrassment to him. Nobody says "no" to the king. He was enraged and, after counsel with his key advisors, decided to remove Vashti as queen and to divorce her. All her privileges of rank and royalty would be gone. There is a high cost to taking a stand for what is right, decent, moral, and godly. There is loss and, in some cases, irrecoverable setback. Will you be willing to lose friendships, rank, reputation, and even financial harm to say “no” to compromise and evil?
We see responsibility.
Vashti is forgotten after her removal. However, her act may have emboldened women in the kingdom to live virtuously. More importantly, her demotion paved the way for the greater work of God on behalf of the Jews. As a Christian, we feel very hurt when we have been rejected. Yet, I am reminded of Hagar, who had been cast out of Abraham’s house and, at a well, the Lord found her. God told her that He is the God Who sees (El Roi). She was rejected by men but accepted by God. Have faith in God’s work in your life. The darker the night, the brighter the light.
Have a courageous God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Amos 1-5